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The excavation at Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and other places shows that even in ancient days there was uniformity in weight or measure used in our country with regard to shapes, denominations, accuracy and also with the consistency of material used. This indicated that even in those days there was an authority regulating the standards of weight or measure.


Kautilya’s ‘Arthshastra’ also indicates the existence of a single system of weights and measures during the regime of Chandragupta Maurya.


Thereafter, in the course of time, the number of standards of weights and measures became so bewildering that they varied from town to town, market to market and also commodity to commodity. The need to attain uniformity in this was felt, but could not be achieved until independence.


British rule in India tried to establish uniform standards of mass, volume and length and enacted The Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1939. This Act was brought into force from July, 1942. In spite of this legislation, the variety of standards of weights and measures that were prevalent in India continued to be in force. It was the genius and foresight of our late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which was responsible for the enactment of ‘The Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1956.’ This Act introduced ‘Metric System’ as the uniform system of weights and measures in India.


Metrology is that branch of science which deals with science of measurements. Legal Metrology is that part of metrology which relates to units of weighment and measurement, as well as methods of weighment and measurements which are concerned with statutory provisions to safeguard the public from the point of view of security and accuracy of weighments and measurements.


OIML- The International Organization of Legal Metrology It is an intergovernmental treaty organization whose membership includes Member States, countries which participate actively in technical activities, and corresponding members, countries which join the OIML as observers. It was established in 1955 in order to promote the global harmonization of legal metrology procedures. Since then OIML has developed a worldwide technical structure that provides its Members with metrological guidelines for the elaboration of national and regional requirements concerning the manufacture and use of measuring instruments for legal metrology applications.


Government of India has enacted The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and framed rules under this Act. Since 2011, implementation of this Act has been started in India. In order to implement different provisions of this Act, following Rules have been framed by Government of India :

1. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

2. The Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011

3. The Legal Metrology (Approval of Models) Rules, 2011

4. The Legal Metrology (National Standards) Rules, 2011

5. The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Rules, 2011

6. The Legal Metrology (Numeration) Amendment Rules, 2011

7. The Indian Institute of Legal Metrology Rules, 2011

8. The Legal Metrology (General Corrigendum) Rules, 2011


For implementation of different provisions of this Act and Rules made thereunder, various states in India made their Enforcement Rules accordingly.

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